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Unearthed SimCity NES prototype includes beautiful, unheard score by Super Mario Kart composer

Newly released, long-lost music by Soyo Oka is a wonderful Christmas surprise

SimCity on Super NES introduced a generation of console fans to a strategy game that was, until that point, only available on personal computers. The game’s role in popularizing city-building simulations is well known, but the collectors and historians who recently discovered and documented a functional but incomplete NES version of the game found a surprise: a unique, long-lost score by Super Mario Kart and Pilotwings composer Soyo Oka.

“While Oka also wrote the music for the Super Nintendo version of SimCity, she composed her tracks uniquely for each platform,” Video Game History Foundation founder and director Frank Cifaldi wrote. “In fact, only one track, the ‘Metropolis Theme,’ is common between the two versions. She was obviously attached to it, as she was once quoted in an interview as saying that this specific track was one of her best compositions.”

You can listen to the soundtrack in the video at the top of this post, with notes from Retro Game Audio.

“If I remember correctly, I created the music for the Famicom (NES) version of SimCity before the Super Famicom (SNES) version,” Oka said in an interview with Square Enix Music Online, quoted in the video. “As I recall, I concentrated entirely on bringing out the feeling of the city growing, without using any common motifs.”

Cifaldi includes many more fascinating discoveries about the game in the full article, and you can even download the game’s ROM to try for yourself.

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